Abe and Modi to discuss trade, security in Japan summit

Glen Norman
October 30, 2018

Before the bilateral talks, PM Modi was accorded a ceremonial reception at the Japanese Prime Minister's office with Abe joining him during the Guard of Honour.

The two countries will seek to review the progress in ties and deepen the strategic dimension of the bilateral relationship.

Both Modi and Abe called upon Pakistan to bring to justice the perpetrators of terrorist attacks, including those of November 2008 in Mumbai and January 2016 in Pathankot.

India's navy - which, like Japan's, is increasingly wide-ranging at a time when China is massively upgrading its blue water assets - would benefit from Japanese maintenance facilities in return. The Prime Minister said, Indian Sports are witnessing an upswing with each passing day and India is setting new records not just in the field of sports but also in hitherto uncharted areas. The two leaders also affirmed that Asean unity and centrality are at the heart of the Indo-Pacific concept, which is inclusive and open to all.

On the economic front, the two countries have agreed to a Bilateral Swap Arrangement that would allow their central banks to exchange local currencies for up to $75 billion. In 2013, India and Japan worked out another swap agreement, increasing it from $15 billion to $50 billion, when the rupee had been under stress.

In comments to the media, Modi said, "Without the cooperation of India and Japan, 21st century can not be a century of Asia".

Modi, through an interpreter, responded, "Without India-Japan cooperation, there will be no development in Asia into the next century". In their vision document, India and Japan said that they will continue to make efforts with regard to cooperation on the aircraft. "It's not only big companies but micro, small and medium enterprises that are welcome to India", he said.

The summit, marked by a full day of informal meetings and deep conversations on Sunday, as well as delegation-level talks and industry outreach, saw the vision statement announce a "new era in India-Japan relations", which will enable them to "cooperate for peace, stability and prosperity of the Indo-Pacific".

India, Japan, and China signed the currency agreement against the backdrop of trade tariff war initiated by the US President Donald Trump early this year. "I have been told that today Japan investors have announced that they will invest 2.5 billion United States dollars in India", he said at the joint briefing. Shinzo Abe has invited PM Modi to his villa in Yamanashi where the two leaders will have lunch and dinner together with a view of Mount Fuji on Sunday.

The two leaders are scheduled to hold formal talks in Tokyo on Monday that will also likely touch on China's growing power in the region.

Since 2005, Japanese and Indian prime ministers have held summit talks nearly annually.

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